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I started BofA Visa for my son in about 1989. He used it during

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I started BofA Visa for my son in about 1989. He used it during college and occasional after until he was established. We both tried to get his name off and BofA sent a form we both have to fill out and sign. It’s a credit type application. BofA claims he is a joint owner but agreed he was too young in 1989 (he is now 40) to sign and neither of us agreed to make it a joint at any time later-he seldom used his card over the years since college-just for emergencies.

I asked BofA for proof he is a joint owner and their answer is it’s always been that way and we only keep records for 7 years by law. Neither of us wants to sign anything. Ideas?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  NA replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your question. I was having trouble entering Chat mode so I'm responding in Q&A format. You can continue to ask questions here on the same issue until I've completed your answer.

If you would like your son off the card you may have to sign whatever B of A is asking you to sign at this point.


If you'd asked B of A to take him off before he turned 18 you'd have a stronger argument than you would now.

Under contract law, while your son may have been too young to sign up for the card in 1989, if he continued to use the card and payments were made after he turned 18 the contract could be considered "ratified".

That means you'd have a tough time arguing that he should not have been on the card in the first place.

B of A currently has two potential debtors to collect from if they need to, and they aren't likely to make it easy to change that to just one since the card has been in use so long.

Is there something specific about the form they have asked you to fill out that's concerning you?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

they just asked basic financial. house payment, total assets and income and source,


 


I have considerable consumer debt and they may reject the request.


 


is there a 7 year statue that protects them from disclosing when and how they got his SSN and made him joint


 


any thoughts on how to approach the credit rating organizations?

Expert:  NA replied 1 year ago.
The "seven year" period on their records is more likely tied to tax record keeping rules than a statute of limitations.

From a practical standpoint it unfortunately probably doesn't make much difference whether they can show when and how they originally got his SS# XXXXX made him joint. My guess is that they have sent a number of contract changes and disclosures over the years--it's the stuff that's printed in microscopic type that we all tend to throw away without reading it.

By accepting those changes (which happens automatically unless you challenge them and close your account) you and your son have effectively agreed to the current status of your account.

B of A could effectively argue that your son has been on the card for all these years and used it and that's all the proof they need that there is a valid agreement-- even if there were some issues with that agreement originally.

As for the credit rating organizations, you might have a better shot there assuming you're just looking to get him off the reporting for that card.

They all have online processes to dispute inaccurate information.

I'd dispute it with all three agencies based on the argument that your son was not of age when the card was opened and that he never signed anything that made him a joint debtor.

The bank would have to provide proof that your son did sign up originally. They may just not fight it since it would be difficult for them to provide affirmative proof.

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